Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,358 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Big Love: Season 5
Lowest review score: 0 Stalker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 721
  2. Negative: 0 out of 721
721 tv reviews
  1. Their [Gethard and Parnell] interplay, once things get moving, is appealing, if not quite compelling, but what sold me on the pilot was the moment when 14-year-old Dylan Blue, as Gethard's beyond-the-law kid brother, revealed his dark side, and his gun; I was a little frightened.
  2. Sometimes "John From Cincinnati" is a muddle, at other times rich drama and divine comedy. And sometimes it's all of that at once.
  3. Feels like an indie feature idea crammed into a sitcom.
  4. Much about the pilot felt flat or programmatic to me, but much was likable as well, especially the nonchalant tenderness between the male leads. And the cast is good.
  5. It may be seen as a kinder, gentler, funnier cousin to Fox's bitter " 'Til Death."
  6. It was an encouraging start.
  7. Although overblown in message and action, The Bridge is well-performed and worth watching if only to see if it will stand by its thesis: that real change comes from people working together.
  8. The first lines of this new chapter were promising, if not quite the fulfillment of his last wild nights at NBC, when caution was thrown to the wind.
  9. Yet if the pilot is generic and wan, it is at least sweet-tempered and not completely offensive (though this is somewhat at odds with its cinematic heritage).
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    To paraphrase poet Robert Frost, there's miles to go before this show will put you to sleep.
  10. It is technically proficient--that is, the jokes consistently work, even when they don't add up to much--and its problems may not be unsolvable, if anyone even considers them problems in the first place.
  11. Lacking the subtext, satire and snappy talk that made "Buffy" golden, Demons (on the evidence of its first two episodes) has little on its mind past raising spooks and smiting them, but it does a fair enough job of that.
  12. For all its flaws, there's something attractively amiable about Harry's Law. A little more grit, a little less speechifying, and a better verdict might yet arrive.
  13. Skidding through twists and turns aplenty, the intentionally soapy plot generates a lot of fun froth, but Gellar has a hard time playing one troubled and complicated woman, much less two.
  14. It's pleasant enough, but unremarkable. Although from the same production team, it doesn't approach the warmth, tenderness, charm and seamlessness of the 1997 film.
  15. It's a decent but not brilliant beginning.
  16. The Gates, on the other hand, starts off with an even greater number of well-worn characters and storylines, but writers Richard Hatem and Grant Scharbo infuse them with a lot more life and a surprisingly high incidence of poignancy.
  17. Zwick and Herskovitz do capture the sweet self-absorption of youth--love is never truer, dreams never dearer and life never as complicated as it is when you are 24--it's just that it all feels so familiar when we were so hoping for something new and exciting.
  18. New York also offers the gift of its locations, which are used abundantly and give the show a sense of reality its script does not always earn. (The actors take up the rest of the slack.)
  19. It totes a few smiles, but little to bowl you over, and it takes a spell getting used to.
  20. The result is a show that tilts toward the familiar except for the man in the middle of it. Rapaport... is a fresh choice as a man-boy whose wife and kids dance circles around him.
  21. Crimson Petal could lose an hour without sacrificing a single scene or word of dialogue, and it would still seem slow and moody.
  22. There are many fine moments in 'Klondike,' cinematic scenes of grandeur and dialogue that rise to poetry. But too often both then fall prey to self-conscious staginess, many repetitive scenes of dirt and endless conversations about the animal nature of man.
  23. But even at 10 hours, Carrier feels cursory and incomplete. That's not to say that at most any given moment it's uninteresting--it's quite watchable--just that it doesn't add up to as much as it should.
  24. It is nowhere near as smart as "White Collar" or as strangely touching as "Necessary Roughness" and seems content to hit well-worn marks, though more than occasionally with welcome style.
  25. Chicagoland is a mosaic, as befits its many-cultured metropolitan setting--and for better or worse. The series moves fast to get it all in, muscling you with its Big Shoulders and too-present hip-hoppy soundtrack, giving you just enough of its characters--including kids and cops, a doctor, a rapper, a restaurateur--to make you feel you should be getting more of them.
  26. An ideal summer entertainment for armchair travelers.
  27. There is a professional efficiency to much of the comedy. (It is funny sometimes.)
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Fast and furious with the exposition and Sci-Fi-losophy 101 expostulation, it may be the briskest two-hour TV pilot on record.
  28. Many of those gags are mechanical and flat, although they are delivered as though they were not. But when the leads are focused on each other, size no longer matters and the show flickers to life.
  29. New show runner Joshua Safran has, in any case, declared himself a fan of the show, promising changes more surgical than wholesale, a promise disappointing in its way. Nevertheless, he has trimmed much deadwood.
  30. A long ride to nowhere but with some nice scenery and exciting turns along the way.
  31. Despite such bloody activity, it's a long trudge through the desert to the Promised Land.
  32. Rather too slick for its own good.
  33. Whether or not they add up to much, the scenes play well, and there are enough heavy-breathing soap-operatics, random acts of violence and unanswered questions to keep one idly watching.
  34. "The State Within"... is something less than perfect, but if you have a taste for high-level skulduggery and do not mind being totally confused much of the time, it's an enjoyable enough ride — fun, sometimes exciting, basically intelligent, occasionally preposterous.
  35. All their best scenes are with one another and have less to do with whatever case they're contesting than with their shared personal history--the characters are old friends, maybe lovers--and teasingly suggested future. The crimes, by contrast, are not particularly compelling, even when they are sensational, and feel invented merely to let the stars talk.
  36. The principals are all good.... And there are funny lines.... At the same time, the show feels something shy of essential.
  37. Larry is getting a little ridiculous... and a little too mean even for Larry. [7 Sep 2007]
    • Los Angeles Times
  38. A very far cry from O’Brien’s lanky swagger or Leno’s self-confident poise and, to be frank, the whole "who, me? host 'The Tonight Show?'" seemed laid on a bit thick in parts.... Once Fallon moved behind the desk, and in front of a truly fabulous wooden miniature of New York, he seemed more comfortable.... After presenting Fallon with his own (red) guitar, [U2] sang an acoustic version of their Oscar-nominated “Ordinary Love,” which sounded, as so few late-night performances do, just fabulous. And that is where Fallon will make his mark on the show.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Sounds funny, and it is. In a style reminiscent of "South Park" and "Beavis and Butt-head," but not nearly as crude, Clone High mixes pop culture and historical references with some crassness. The problem is that the first episode, which focuses on crushes and beer, doesn't quite live up to the obvious comedic potential behind the killer premise. [20 Jan 2003, p.C24]
    • Los Angeles Times
  39. If you're in the mood for some outer space, I wouldn't warn you away. Livingston and Harris work well together, and though it's too soon to know whether this will go anywhere interesting, it's also too soon to say it won't. I do wonder what's coming.
  40. It's corny, ponderous, literary, ambitious, obvious and, at the beginning at least, as slow as molasses, but continually re-energized by Ian McShane as King Saul, or, as he's known here, King Silas Benjamin
    • 31 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though the voice-over narration could have been more informative, the biggest drawback in the first two episodes was producer Nigel Lythgoe functioning as the Donald Trump of dance by firing dancers right and left. [30 Jul 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Basically it's an amiable sitcom about a family that--sit down if you aren't already--happens to be Latino. [27 Mar 2002, p.C6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  41. From where I sit, it is something of a mixed bag, but it works more than it doesn't, and an impressive, semi-big-name cast helps keep it upright and lends the project an air of prestige--especially in the context of its modest little network.
  42. There's not much suspense here, but the two leads, and the hour's teacup worth of mystery, are just enough to keep this flying saucer aloft.
  43. Creator Kyle Killen and executive producers Amy Lippman and Christopher Keyser (the latter two best known for "Party of Five") are betting that the callow charm of their leading man, shored up by tailor-made roles for Keith and Jon Voight, who plays gimlet-eyed oil tycoon Clint Thatcher, will overcome the ridiculousness of the setup.
  44. For fans of the canon, South Riding is "Masterpiece" comfort food, enjoyable enough in the moment, but melting away to nothing but sugar and fat by morning.
  45. Hirsch is, as usual, wonderful and more than capable of taking Abraham's story line wider and deeper than well-meaning banter and bromides assigned him, but in early episodes the story seems determined to showcase its more predictable aspects.
  46. There are enough interesting ideas inherent in the material to warrant giving The Americans a chance, and interesting enough ideas that one wishes a little more attention were being paid to them, and a little less to the usual spy-jinks.
  47. OK, it's not Chekhov or even "How I Met Your Mother," to which it will inevitably be compared, but it's a lot better than the I'll-do-anything-for-pizza jokes that precede it.
  48. The prologue is well-handled, suspenseful and alarming, but much of what follows seems at least a little bit silly or confused.
  49. There's nothing here you couldn't imagine from the premise, but there's also nothing wrong with what's here: McGraw is a good foil for Grammer, and Grammer is good at what he does.
  50. The cleverest part of the show is that it makes the judges into contestants; they compete against one another for the right to invest in a business, and they haggle with the entrepreneurs over the terms of their investment.
  51. As is the case with pilots, the seams tend to show--the bountiful expository dialogue makes no effort to veil its purpose, and the production is a tad too insistent that we find these scamps charming. But they are fairly charming at that, and though the spy stuff is all unconvincing hokum, the company is easy to bear.
  52. Most of what doesn't work in the pilot happens when the production strives for a big effect or grand stroke, while all of what works best happens in the close space between the leads.
  53. There is much to like and learn from the miniseries. Alas, executive producer Stephen David and his creative team seem intent on getting in their own way, cluttering up the inevitably fascinating narrative (offered here by Jeremy Renner) with all manner of clunky historical reenactments, hyperbolic characterizations and a soundtrack that should be shot for treason.
  54. Painless at worst, and mostly better than that.
  55. Where "The Returned" was content to tell its story in elliptical scenes and character sketches, Resurrection keeps them tightly tied together and bound to an investigative uber-narrative--Marty and Maggie are partners in detection with the requisite possibility of romance. The result is a lot of narrative that often strays too far from the original and much more provocative conceit: Hey, we see dead people.
  56. When Believe tries to be meaningful, it's also at its most obvious, and the show could prove to be too willfully touching for its own good. But it doesn't seem impossible to me that they could get the mix right.
  57. Although the characters are too inconsistent to be entirely believable and often act too inanely to be respected, there are enough nice moments here to lift "The Outsiders" above the ordinary and give it promise.
  58. It's too schematic by half, the banter rarely ascends to the level and wit, and it contains barely a believable moment... but it is not without a certain energy and cast-based charm.
  59. Almost immediately you can tell it's a kind of fantasy camp for "Sports Center" junkies.
  60. Except in the decorative details, it is exactly the same as every other gimme-a-job reality show ever made, with the contestants all banged up in a fancy dormitory from which they disappear one by one after themed weekly challenges.
  61. "Casanova" only gets into trouble when it wants to mean something, and the more pointedly emotional moments seem cooked up to the point of hokum, but it's fun when it wants to be, and most of the time it just wants to be fun.
  62. A more than occasionally funny show in which Gabi (Emily Osment), an appealing but financially challenged food blogger, becomes personal chef to Josh (Jonathan Sadowski), an appealing but romantically challenged tech-ionaire.
  63. Its uniqueness and arresting style don't earn it an unqualified endorsement here, for its first two Fontana-written episodes are absolute downers--there's no light at the end of a tunnel, nor even a tunnel--that offer no central characters to like or pull for...Be forewarned, too, that Oz is flat-out the most violent and graphically sexual series on TV. By contrast, it makes ABC's "NYPD Blue" look and sound like dancing Barney. [12 July 1997, p.F2]
    • Los Angeles Times
  64. It's probably enough to say that if you like this sort of thing, this is just the sort of thing you'll like. (If the tautology fits, wear it.) Rodriguez knows how this machine works as well as anyone alive. Whether such sensationalist kicks are good for us "as a people," or indeed as people in particular, is a question the culture and its guardians and gadflies have been batting around for years. A decision is not due any time soon.
  65. The collective IQ of the cast is noticeably higher than on the "Real Housewives" while the vitriol is lower.
  66. Some of these women are troubled, certainly, but none of them seems like trouble. Indeed, I felt a little sad at times, watching--not as I usually do, for the society that could produce such a program, but for the actual women in it, as far as I could make them out.
  67. [Scott Baio's] naturally relaxed presence mitigates the show's more hectic leanings.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An uneven debut.
  68. "Carnivale" is beautiful to look at, but it drags. ... To watch "Carnivale" is to feel you have purchased a moody Tom Waits concept album, where he's banging on trash can lids and mumbling about Satan into a megaphone. [7 Jan 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
  69. It's a premise that seems more appropriate to a mid-'90s theatrical romantic comedy -- something with Sandra Bullock or Meg Ryan -- than to a TV series, and indeed, given how much transpires in the pilot, you could bang an extra hour of complications and resolutions onto the end and have a spiffy little chick flick.
  70. Pope is a likeable woman, smart and sensible. Although the Difficult Boss is a common feature of Bravo series, by network standards she is egoless as the Buddha. Indeed, as a protector of the almost-born from the fuzzy thinking and distracted inattention of their parents, she is a bastion of perspective.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Only moderately enjoyable.
  71. Steinberg is a polite, solicitous host -- too polite and solicitous.
  72. Despite the frantic and at times clunky initial execution, there are times when The Mob Doctor shows signs of transcending the typical doc-with-something-extra medical procedural.
  73. It's just the same joke endlessly repeated--the everyday translated into geek-speak, and the obscure and difficult treated as if it were common knowledge.... These are perilous times for sitcoms, and Lorre & Co. may want to think up another.
  74. At times it feels enough that the players seem to be enjoying themselves to enjoy it alongside them.
  75. While the performances are first-rate, and the film is never less than enjoyable, it doesn't quite take off.
  76. Perfectly fine and nothing special.
  77. [Gilbert] seems like a real person, even in such a cartoon as this is.
  78. The sets are terrific, as are the costumes, and the rich and saturated moodiness of the production values makes the tepidness of the story all the more disappointing.
  79. The Comedians is a strangely mixed bag, which works or doesn't work from moment to moment and from mode to mode.
  80. If "The Class" feels calculated, unrelated to life outside sitcoms, and encased in amber, it's a competent American product, ultimately, no harder to watch than, say, a Dodge is to drive.
  81. It's a noble goal and one hopes that after viewing School Pride, volunteers spring up, committees form and checks are written. Because to merely watch the show and wallow in its many throat-tightening moments would be to remain a voyeur, and then you're just part of the problem.
  82. There is a story to be made from this, about aspiration and achievement and what goes on in the gap between them, but that is not a story that television, or any other form of American mass culture, particularly likes to tell. Underemployed flirts with it but more often settles for flattering its audience, reflecting not only its hopes but also its resentments.
  83. "Threshold" is a comic book, and passable as such.
  84. Detroit 1-8-7 is, rather than a slice of life, very much a slab of TV. And yet, as currently constituted, the show's only way forward is through the unlikely Fitch; his emotional awkwardness is more interesting than the cases he works.
  85. What Swank doesn't bring is any sort of emotional connection, either to Mary, Mary's son or the audience.... Mercifully, Blethyn eventually joins her on the screen and is, as ever, simple perfection, needing to do little more than utter two words with an anguished squint to break your heart into 50 million pieces. When the two meet up, Mary and Martha begins to transcend the drumbeat of its message.
  86. It is so far minor stuff, inconsistent in tone and not particularly original yet fundamentally sweet and, if not stared at too hard, appealing.
  87. If you can live through the ridiculous hustle-forward, no-looking introduction to the story, what follows is entertaining enough, albeit in a mildly campy way.
  88. In some ways, it is like a placebo, lacking substance, but not ineffective. In others, it is a kind of gaily packaged generic equivalent to some better-known brand.
  89. Unfortunately, without a more solid platform, even the greatest performance can go only so far. Oyelowo is mesmerizing in the moment, but each moment dies behind him.
  90. Between Sherri's grouchy father, adorable son and hapless ex, all the stereotypes seem to be running on full steam. It's a less-than-stellar debut, but a body set in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, and it's hard to imagine the outside force that's going to slow Sherri Shepherd down any time soon.
  91. Unfortunately, so smitten are the creators of John Adams with historical earnestness and pedigree they seem to have forgotten how to tell a good story.
  92. Television, like love, is a matter of chemistry, of which none is yet obvious between the leads here. Will it come? Trevor would tell you that you should know it in an instant, while Claire would reserve judgment; they're both right, of course, some of the time.
  93. This split-personality series that speaks with two voices: one thoughtful and intelligent, the louder one glib and derivative. [29 Sept 1999, p.F6]
    • Los Angeles Times

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